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Coffee filter tips for radical cooks
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

We entertained company a while back. They spent three nights here with us. Before they arrived, I did some spiffing up around the house. You know the routine. One thing calls for another and soon, I was involved up to my neck with projects. I changed the sheets, washed some blankets, re-arranged the guest closet, cleaned the bathrooms, etc. But then, I relentlessly dug into other areas that had nothing to do with the company.

After vacuuming some crumbs out of the silverware trays, I re-arranged the kitchen junk drawer, strewn with paper clips, rubber bands, pencils, paper, tape, TV remotes, fingernail clippers; you name it. I then re-folded the tea towels neatly, wiped down the inside of the refrigerator, throwing out jars of, well, I don’t know what they were. And shoot, I even cleaned the oven. I was inspired!

But in it all, I found a treasure! While making coffee, I discovered a large, unopened package of coffee filters stuck back in a drawer. Somewhere, I have a list of uses for these other than for making coffee! I dug it up. And I’m happy to pass some of the information on to you, you lucky, lucky readers! 

You see, sometimes, during stressful times, performing basic, stable, tasks grounds a person’s routine. Cleaning and rearranging, making “neat” areas gives us definition for maintaining a low stress level. Any action that creates order and organization pays large dividends to the upended soul.

Here is my contribution this week to “order, stability, continuity, and the feeling of having control over one’s life.” Thus, I offer these very practical uses for coffee filters. I know you will thank me. Don’t flood my email with your praises!

Coffee filters are great separators for stacking china plates and saucers. Paper towels are a secondary choice. But here are some more.

Cover bowls or dishes with a filter when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent lids. (no more splatters!)

Use as holders for ingredients when making a recipe. One for baking powder, one for brown sugar measure, one for nuts, or whatever.

Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome. Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling. 

Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet in storage to absorb moisture and prevent rust. (Or just never wash the dang thing.)

Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free filter. (Yes, I know no one polishes shoes these days! But I do.)

Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale. (Weight watchers weighs food all the time)

Use as a spoon rest when cooking. 

Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in stews and soups. Use to recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter. (I will never do this one. You might?)

Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage. (Works like a charm.)

Use as an individual “snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc. (I will have to refill it a few times, though.)

And this one I am passing on to husband Fred, who will soon be hauling some of our outdoor plants back inside for the winter. To stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot, line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes. (Wish it would prevent the water from leaking out when we over water.

If you are like me, you will need to place the filters on the counter for a while, until you get accustomed to the routine. I think this is a workable set of tips, don’t you?  

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at or juditabler@awomansview.